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Author releases her second novel featuring her teenage black female superhero.

L. L. McKinney's experience as a woman of color in the publishing industry has required patience and persistence, but it has resulted in two young adult novels. Both revolve around the heroine Alice, caught up in a Wonderland very different from the Lewis Carroll original. McKinney talked about the importance of representation in fantasy fiction and said, when it comes to writing for teens, "you have to come at them with respect, with understanding."

He brings us local news highlights with his primetime public affairs TV program each weekand his journalistic experience spans from the BBC to Kansas Public Radio. Nick Haines is rarely the one answering the questions, but today he shares an exclusive look at what makes KCPT's Kansas City Week in Review happen every Friday.

Segment 1: Kansas City area officials adapting strategies for climate mitigation  

Since December 2018,  governments in the Kansas City region have been working to make their cities and counties climate resilient.  Two people behind the Metro KC Climate Action Coalition explained how everything from direct renewables agreements to LEED zero standard development are among the tools being used to meet that goal.

Segment 1: What Kansas City area organizations are doing to reduce gun violence 

In 2017, firearms killed nearly 40,000 people with 60% of those being suicides. Every year 1,500 children die from guns including those left unlocked in the home. This week in Kansas City, Missouri five persons died in a 24-hour period from gun-related incidents.  Three women deeply involved in these issues expressed frustration, desperation and determination about reducing gun violence. 

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Kansas City is one of the few metropolitan areas of its size in the country without a full-time classical music broadcaster.

That may be about to change.

KCUR 89.3 has signed an agreement to purchase KWJC 91.9 FM from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, with the intention of bringing 24-hour classical music programming to Kansas City. On Thursday, KCUR — Kansas City’s public radio station — filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to approve the purchase.

Brandon Parigo / UMKC

Married for more than a decade, Joel Barrett and David Seymour moved to Kansas City from South Bend, Indiana, in 2016. In that short time, they’ve become loyal KCUR supporters.

How did you first become interested in public radio?

J: My sister is 12 years older than me, and when she was in college she would listen to NPR. I thought my sister was pretty cool and smart, so that got me interested. Now, the public radio station wherever I live is always the first preset on my radio dial. It’s kind of like that familiar friend you can find wherever you go.

StoryCorps

KCUR has been selected, along with five other public radio stations, to participate in StoryCorps' One Small Step Communities initiative to foster civil conversations between Kansas Citians on opposite ends of political issues. 

KCUR Director of Community Engagement Ron Jones says the project is a natural fit for Kansas City.

Amado Espinoza

Hosted by Gina Kaufmann, KCUR's Central Standard explored more than 500 topics and invited more than 700 people to share their expertise and stories on the daily talk show in 2018.

With so many conversations, there's no way to convey the breadth and depth of topics we covered. But in the spirit of year-end reflection, we decided to highlight some of our favorite dicsussions.

KCUR 89.3 won a National Murrow Award Tuesday for excellence in journalism. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in broadcast and digital news.

KCUR's Frank Morris won the award for Excellence in Writing for his story about the life and legacy of Robert Craig Knievel, also known as Evel Knievel.

Briana O'Higgins / KCUR 89.3

KCUR 89.3 won multiple first place awards and an honorable mention at the 2018 Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards over the weekend.

RTDNA

KCUR has been awarded six regional Edward R. Murrow Awards this year, the most ever received by the station for its journalistic efforts. 

The station was also involved with two additional awards through collaborations with KBIA in Columbia, Missouri. The prestigious awards, announced Wednesday, come from the Radio Television Digital News Association, which has honored exceptional works of journalism since 1971. 

This year marks the 60th anniversary of KCUR — and we're celebrating by sharing the story of how our station came to be. From humble beginnings in a house to the nationally-respected news outlet we are today, we pause to remember all the interesting quirks, bizarre oddities and colorful characters that comprise our station's history.

Guests:

David Kovaluk, St. Louis Public Radio

Talking about race and culture is hard for a lot of Kansas Citians. It’s hard everywhere in the United States where people from different backgrounds share space and resources. But when we dig into stories about our identities and how they affect our families, our politics, arts and health – it’s hard not to recognize that race, culture and identity is a central force in our lives, and deserves special attention in our news coverage.

Luke Martin / KCUR 89.3

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting phone conversation with a KCUR listener. “Stop bashing Trump,” she told me. “Give him a chance.” We went back and forth a bit — she voiced her concerns about the country’s current direction and media bias; I talked about the urgent need for credible news organizations such as NPR and KCUR to do their job objectively and thoroughly.

“We are not a divided country,” she said, arguing that this is a narrative manufactured by the media.

kev-shine / Flickr -- CC

The Audiofiles look at some of the best new podcasts of 2016, from the serious (mental illness, embedded journalists) to the lighthearted (a discussion of the Baby-Sitters Club books).

Guests:

David Greene has reported on everything from the White House to the Arab Spring to post-Soviet Russia. It all started with his high school newspaper and a lot of help along the way. Even his wife made sacrifices for his career, but Greene says it’s paid off. Now he's co-host of NPR’s Morning Edition.

David Greene is in town for KCUR’s benefit event 'RadioActive' on June 10. Tickets are no longer available.

If you like to learn about the inner lives of musicians, as though they're the friends or older siblings who are way cooler than you, then music podcasts might just be your thing. This show compiles great music podcasts with an emphasis on the musician-interview approach, plus a handful of new, non-music podcasts to refresh your general playlist. Timed in anticipation of KCUR's upcoming Podcast Party featuring Central Standard and The Grisly Hand. 

Guests:

At our recent Podcast Party we asked Kansas City to redesign our city's flag.

Our inspiration was a very popular episode of the podcast 99% Invisible called "Vexillonaire" (a play on vexillology, or the study of flags).

The Fish Fry, KCUR's blues, jazz, soul, R &B and zydeco program which airs every Friday and Saturday night, turns 30 this year. We talk with host Chuck Haddix about how he got his start and what it takes to party, public radio style, week in and week out.

Cody Newill/KCUR

Our Tell KCUR question was straightforward: What question would you like us to answer in 2016?  Your responses were insightful, challenging and sometimes surprising.

But bottom line, KCUR 89.3 has a lot of work to do.

Here at KCUR we are great at telling stories. But we aren't always good at telling our own story — and we have a great story to tell.

That's why we've spent the last year working with a team at Meers Advertising in Kansas City to refresh our look. CEO and President, Sam Meers is a longtime listener, donor and volunteer who knows where KCUR has been and where it wants to go.

KCUR To Expand News Coverage With Kauffman Grant

Jun 27, 2014
File photo

KCUR plans to ramp up its coverage of education and entrepreneurship after a financial boost from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the University of Missouri-Kansas City announced Friday.

The $100,000 grant from the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation will help KCUR increase the number of in-depth stories it produces “on two important topics, which touch the majority of Kansas City-area residents,” KCUR General Manager Nico Leone said in a written statement.

Leone said KCUR plans to hire at least one additional reporter as a result of the grant.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Every government, non-profit or business has to find some way to gauge what a community needs or wants from them. But how do you figure it out?

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about what community engagement means to a local government official and a director of community engagement at a non-profit. We also take a look at how they talk with community members and how the information they get helps shape their organizations’ budgets, programs and other critical functions.

35 Years Of Memories With Cyprus Avenue

Sep 17, 2013

The sounds of Cyprus Avenue have filled this station’s airwaves for three and a half decades now, and host Bill Shapiro is still going strong. 

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about how he got plugged in to do the show, some of his best memories of Cyprus Avenue’s 35 years and take a look at his five favorite artists. 

Guest:

Underreported Stories Of 2012

Dec 28, 2012

A peek inside the newsroom of KCUR and Harvest Public Media.

KCUR has announced new station leadership.  Nico Leone will take over from longtime KCUR general manager Patty Cahill.  She’s retiring after 25 years.

UMKC Selects New KCUR General Manager

May 17, 2012

Nico Leone, from KDHX in St. Louis, has been named the new General Manager of KCUR. He will take over for KCUR's longtime general manager Patricia Cahill on August 1.

In 25 years of service as the General Manager of KCUR, Patty Cahill has overseen an era of great change at KCUR and witnessed public broadcasting come into its own. 

In this conversation with Steve Kraske, Patty reflects upon the connection Walt Bodine  had with his audience on the occasion of his last show at the station.  They also discuss the future of funding for public broadcasting, Patty's dedication to local reporting and her belief that "we have finally come of age."

One More Broadcast For A Living Legend

Apr 27, 2012

The final Walt Bodine Show was heard Friday, April 27th, celebrating 72 years of originality and honesty across print, TV and radio platforms, as pioneering journalist Walt Bodine retires from KCUR.